Punk band thrills crowd with its emotion and energy

Something Corporate brought their high-energy music and stage show to New Jersey on Jan. 26 and was met with a sold-out crowd. Their show, at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, was energetic, crowd-pleasing and true to SoCo form. Though they mainly played songs from their current album, “North,” they did fit in some fan favorites like “Punk Rock Princess” and the show-ending “Hurricane” from an older album.

Beginning the show with their most recent single, “Only Ashes,” the band succeeded in getting the crowd energized right from the start, but considering the majority of the people were fans, that wasn’t difficult.

Although the crowd was chanting “Konstantine,” which is generally a fan favorite, lead singer Andrew McMahon started on a three-song set of tracks that they “don’t usually play in concert,” he said. “She Paints Me Blue,” “Watch the Sky” and “Me and the Moon” were all met with roaring approval, though most of the crowd was unable to sing along to “Watch the Sky,” a track not released in America. While all three songs are from their newest album, “Watch the Sky” is only available on Japan’s version or, for the zealous fan, through searches within music sharing communities.

Before playing “She Paints Me Blue,” McMahon introduced the song, alluding to his ex-girlfriend, saying that it now “has a different meaning” from when he originally penned it several years ago.

McMahon also mentioned his failed relationship several other times during the show, again alluding to it during “21 and Invincible,” changing the lyrics at one point to “I’ve got a girlfriend, she tells me she needs me, we’ll probably get married … guess not.” Their set, more emotionally charged than usual, was also shorter than usual, running little over an hour.

SoCo did eventually play “Konstantine,” a 10-minute long reflection on, what else, a girl. A slowed-down version of the already mellow “I Want to Save You” threw the crowd off for several moments; the sing-along only started after the first few lines of lyrics. However, it met, like all their songs, with loud approval from the audience.

The crowd also cheered for McMahon when he stood on his piano, stomping on the keys with bare feet during the climactic and loud end of “If You C Jordan,” which is about a “red-haired (male) bitch” from high school, according to McMahon. The band also played “Space,” the upbeat first single from “North,” “Down,” “Cavanaugh Park” and “I Woke Up In a Car.”

With The Academy Is … as the opening act and Hidden In Plain View supporting, the show, though it started late, had a very energetic beginning.

These are two bands with good stage presence and music that are worth checking out. They generally went over well with the Something Corporate fans crowding the general admission venue.

“I especially enjoyed Hidden in Plain View,” Jonathan Borst, sophomore English major and concert attendee, said. “It was nice to discover a new band.”

Though loudly requested by the crowd, the band did not come out for an encore. Instead, fans waited around until techies and venue staff motioned them to leave. They also did not hang around the venue after the show to meet fans and sign autographs like they usually do, but were instead at a meet-and-greet only for members of the “Fan Klub with a K,” SoCo’s official fan club (a $25 dollar investment, for those interested).

Based out of Orange County, Ca., Something Corporate, comprised of lead singer/pianist McMahon, guitarist Josh Partington, guitarist Robert Anderson, bassist Clutch (Kevin Page) and drummer Brian Ireland, released their first wide-release album, “Audioboxer,” in October 2001. “North,” was released in 2003 and “Alternative Press Magazine” lists their upcoming album as one of the “most anticipated CDs of 2005.”

The band did not play any songs from the in-progress album, still in the works and with an unannounced release date.

Hidden in Plain View and The Academy Is … will be playing The Bamboozle on April 30 in Asbury Park. Something Corporate is on a nation-wide tour and is currently playing dates on the West Coast.